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New trade policy to further boost coir exports: Board.

Date: 08-06-2012
Subject: New trade policy to further boost coir exports: Board
The newly announced foreign trade policy (FTP) will help India’s coir sector perform better in the current financial year, during which the export of the commodity and products made of it are likely to cross Rs 1,100 crore, Coir Board Chairman G Balachandran said on Thursday.

The optimism stems also from some bright statistics. The export of coir in 2011-12 saw a rise of 28 per cent in volume and 30 per cent in value compared to the year preceding it. In 2011-12, coir exports touched Rs 1,053 crore with a total shipment of 410,854 tonnes.

Balachandran said the board would provide more assistance for the export of value-added coir products rather than the basic natural fibre. This would enable the industry to tide over an acute shortage for raw material, he noted, talking to Business Standard.

The latest FTP provides a Customs duty cut on import of machinery required for coir-based industry. This will enable the sector to reduce the capital expenditure substantially. Mostly, machinery is imported from countries like Austria, Germany and the UK. As the industry is largely labour-intensive, a two per cent interest subvention announced in the policy would also help the sector to a large extent, the Coir Board chief said.

“This will enable the export units to get more financial assistance from institutions," he said. “These steps (mentioned in the FTP) will also help the coir export sector overcome the setbacks caused by euro zone crisis."

The target that the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises fixed for coir export in 2011-12 was Rs 850 crore, and the achievement was 124 per cent. The main reason, according to Balachandran, was the focus on hitherto untried markets, especially in Africa and Latin America, amid economic problems in the traditional markets in Europe. “In fact, it was for the first time that we exported coir products to eight countries in Africa and Latin America," Balachandran said, noting that India exports coir and coir-based products to 112 countries. China, he added, was turning out to be an emerging market for Indian coir products as products worth Rs 200 crore were shipped in FY12.

This financial year, too, the board is focusing on tapping more such “virgin markets". India will, in 2012-13, be participating in 24 international exhibitions for natural fibre products. Half of these are in eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America.

Balachandran said export to the euro zone faced a setback last year, but that has only prompted the board to explore new markets.

Source : smartinvestor.business-standard.com

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